FSU Libraries has worked closely with our first-year English composition instructors to provide library instruction sessions for each course with the goal of introducing library resources, database searching, citation management and more. Usually, we teach these sessions in-person. A large portion of sections have transitioned asynchronously online in the past couple years, allowing our team the opportunity to offer a different sort of library instruction session that will provide students the information and skills they need to be successful in their composition course and beyond.

The Canvas module presented below is comprised of a series of short, focused library lessons and videos that will present the same content and learning objectives as our in-person sessions, all in an asynchronous learning object. I also work with instructors to include a discussion board assignment, allowing for further engagement as I moderate this discussion and interact with students directly. We have found that both synchronous and asynchronous library instruction improves students’ critical thinking skills and enhances their understanding of the research process significantly.


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Screenshot of how the module is displayed in a Canvas course site.

I have shared the content of the module (below) which is also openly available in the public Canvas Commons. As of April 2020, the Information Literacy Overview module has been imported into 175 Canvas course sites.



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Information Literacy Overview

Lindsey Wharton
Distance and Extended Campus Librarian

Scedule Appointment

Hi! I’m Lindsey Wharton, the Extended Campus and Distance Services Librarian here at Florida State University Libraries. I am so excited to be working with you in this module and during your time here at FSU. When you think of a library, you may just think of books on a shelf, but you are about to find out that FSU Libraries offer so much more. We have the tools and resources you need to be a successful student and lifelong learner.

This module will begin with an introductory video about the resources and services available for on-campus and off-campus students. Then, you can use the tabs to explore library services and resources, citing basics and citation support tools, as well as research and information literacy basics with short quizzes at the end of each section. Always remember, the Libraries and librarians are here to support you in your research and learning endeavors. 

Welcome to Strozier Library at Florida State University. The video below provides an overview of our immense resources and services for students. Feel free to take a tour of our library website after watching the video to learn more about all we have to offer.

We strive to provide a valuable online experience for all students through our growing eResource collection and on-demand virtual services. This module will provide an orientation to  FSU Libraries as well as some critical lessons on information literacy that will help you transform into an expert student and scholar . If you have questions, contact us at any point of the module, you can reach out to me at lwharton@fsu.edu or through the library’s website at lib.fsu.edu.

The best point to start your exploration of library services is our website, lib.fsu.edu (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Think of our website as an extension of our physical libraries avaialble to you right from your computer, device, or phone, 24/7. On it you can find information on hours, borrowing materials,  contact information, and everything else you need to know about FSU Libraries. Most scholarly research will be conducted right through our website where all current students have access to our immense digital collections. While all this information may seem overwhelming, the options we have on the website are easy to use and available to anyone studying at FSU anytime, anywhere. Try clicking here (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. to open a new tab with our website.  

 Videos and Tutorials

We know you are busy and want to make the most of your time. This is why we have created a collection of short, focused videos and tutorials with you in mind. If you have no idea where to start with a research project, or just want to learn more about our resources, video tutorials are a great way to streamline your academic journey with the library. 

 Getting Help

If you’re having trouble finding information, researching effectively, or just have questions about the Libraries, there is a multitude of ways to get help. Connecting with a librarian is a great way to gain a partner and guide to help you navigate the research process.

 Subject Librarians

Speaking of connecting with a librarian, FSU Libraries offers a subect librarian to each department, school, and program who provides tailored instruction and research assistance for students and faculty. You can find your subject librarian and request a consultation here.


Ask a Librarian is a helpful resource for any student, either on the main campus or at a distance. It allows you to speak to a reference support associate via live chat. The link to this service is available through the Ask a Librarian tab on the homepage. Ask questions about resources, citations, or general library services or resources any time we’re open. If we are closed when you ask your question, our Ask Us Now Email is available and we will answer your question as soon as we open again.

 Borrowing Equipment

If you find yourself on campus without a phone charger, or you need a laptop to work on a project, FSU libraries have you covered! We have a wide variety of items available for check out, even DSLR cameras, headphones and projectors. Simply come to the library with your library card and we can lend you any equipment you need to complete projects or work on assignments. The full list of available equipment can be found on our borrowing equipment homepage along with the list of lending periods and late fees, Technology Center Policies and Resources.

 Study Spaces

Our study spaces provide a great way to get a study group together or to cut out distractions and study on your own. Both Strozier and Dirac offer study rooms that you can book online. Simply visit Study Rooms & Spaces, choose your library and then fill out the information to book the room.


Tutoring is a great resource if you’re on campus and need help with class material. Strozier and Dirac offer tutoring services, as well as the ACE center, and the Reading Writing Center. Further information on the subjects hosted at Strozier can be found on Tutoring Information, as well as information on Other Locations where tutoring is offered.

 UBorrowInterlibrary Loan

UBorrow allows you to request materials directly from participating libraries within Florida’s state university and college systems. This borrowing service allows you access to the collections of the other universities and colleges in Florida and delivers generally in 3-5 business days. An alternate to UBorrow that allows you to access collections all over the world is Interlibrary Loan.

If you are a distance learner, Interlibrary Loan and UBorrow are valuable resources to utilize as you can request materials, whether owned by FSU or from other libraries, be delivered straight to your home address if you live outside of the Tallahassee city limits. If you live in Florida, you can also use your library card to borrow directly from other public college and university libraries.

 Test Yourself


Citing your sources is an important part of any research process. It proves you have done the appropriate research by showing what sources you used to produce your papers and projects. In order to avoid plagiarism, you must give credit to other researchers and acknowledge their contributions. Think of every research project was a scholarly conversation. For any topic, there is already a conversation going on – through books, articles, discussions, and more. Your job as a researcher is to enter the conversation, find and use what others are saying, and lending your own voice by effectively completing your paper or project. Citing presents a record of this ongoing conversation.


FSU Libraries can help you avoid plagiarism and manage your citations. Citation management tools such as Zotero and Mendeley allow you to store and organize citations and files, as well as to create bibliographies formatted in major citation styles, such as MLA, APA, and Chicago. To access these tools and more, simply select the citation management button on the library homepage. In the next two sections, we’ll provide guidance on using our favorite tool, Zotero as well as an overview of APA & MLA styles! To find more information, head over to Citation Management, which is also accessible from the lib.fsu.edu homepage.



Zotero is a free, open source citation management tool that works as a browser plug-in or an application on your computer. The browser plug-in allows you to extract citation information from websites, library sources, and more, as well as save PDFs and screenshots for your records.

To learn more about all Zotero has to offer, work through this Zotero Research Guide and set up a Zotero account following the steps and tips provided. As you work through the Research Strategies tab, try exporting some of the journal articles you find in the databases right into your Zotero library. 


mfg-labs-iconset_2014-07-29_paperplane_ico_256_0_782f40_none.png MLA Citation Style

Watch the video below for a quick overview of MLA Citation style or visit OWL Purdue’s MLA Formatting & Style Guide.

mfg-labs-iconset_2014-07-29_data_science_black_42_0_782f40_none.png  APA Citation Style

Watch the video below for a quick overview or APA citation style or visit OWL Purdue’s APA Formatting & Style Guide.


 Citation Management Research Guide

In this Citation Management Research Guide you will find resources for MLA, APA and Chicago styles of citation. In addition, library guides and tutorials for various citation management programs such as Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote Basic are available in this guide.

If you need further help on citing your sources, remember the Ask a Librarian tab is available on our homepage

 Test Yourself

ligature-symbols_2-11-0_view_42_0_782f40_none.png Evaluating Information: Authority and Credibility

You have found the books, articles, and online sources you need to meet the requirements of your research project. So, what’s next? It’s time to analyze or evaluate these sources. This practice encourages you to think critically about the reliability, validity, accuracy, and bias of information sources, a useful skill for your academic career as well as for your lifelong learning. Just because an information source seems at relevant and legitimate, it does not mean that it is necessary a reliable source. But, don’t worry. FSU Libraries is here to help you navigate the information landscape. This video on authority, credibility, and evaluating resources will shed some light on this important topic. 



Library databases are one of the most important collections of information that you will use during your research. Think of databases as Spotify or Netflix but for research articles. FSU Libraries subscribes to hundreds of databases, ranging from general and broad to very specific. The following video is a breakdown of what can be found within a database and how you can access these resources. 

To find a database, visit the FSU Libraries website and select the Databases tab from the search box. A list of databases by subject can be accessed here

material-icons_3-0-1_school_42_0_782f40_none.png  Academic Search Complete

Academic Search Complete is one of our most popular databases and a useful starting point for most research as it covers a wide range of disciplines and provides full text scholarly articles.


JSTOR is another popular database provided by FSU Libraries. JSTOR is also useful for image-intensive and primary sources. Ultimately, the database you choose to use should reflect the kind of sources you’re searching for, but JSTOR is a great resource to start your search.

Now let’s try putting what we’ve learned into practice. 

Start on the library homepage, and navigate to the list of databases. Find JSTOR or another database of your choosing (if located off-campus, you’ll need to log in to access some online material). 

Now, try searching for a topic that interests you, and see what kind of results you can get by trying different combinations of search terms. 

And remember, if you need assistance, we’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to use the Ask a Librarian chat box located on the homepage


OneSearch is how we refer to the search box located on the lib.fsu.edu homepage. This box allows you to quickly search the entire Libraries’ resources, from databases to books. After watching this video, try using the OneSearch function to find articles on your research topic, or any other subject that might interest you. 

 Research Guides

Research guides are curated resources compiled to help you find the right sources for the project you’re working on. 

Click here for a list of research guides by subject. This page can also be accessed from our home page.

 Test Yourself